I’ve got a couple more mini-reviews. I’ve been plowing through the shorter books recently. Today we have:
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. This book was written in 1929 by the author of The Maltese Falcon. An operative from the Continental Detective Agency has been called to Poisonville to meet with the editor of the local newspaper who is attempting to clean up the crime invested city. The newspaper man is gunned down before they can meet. The Continental op takes the case, but upon solving the crime decides his work isn’t done. He is going to single handedly clean up the town. This is a fun book. It has everything you’d expect in classic crime fiction. A mysterious woman, murder, a corrupt town, gunplay and a tough detective. In addition, I discovered that the slang terms “gat” (gun) and “capped” (to have been shot) are much older than I thought.
The Mount by Carol Emshwiller. Humans have become mounts. Small, weak legged aliens called Hoots have taken over Earth and use humans like horses. Charley is proud of being the mount for the Future-Ruler-Of-Us-All until his father frees him from a Hoot town taking him, and his Hoot, to a small village of free humans in the mountains. There Charley learns what it is to be free and to be human. The story is written in a very distinct, almost childlike, style. I am not sure whether the simple style is a result of the 13 year old Charley being the central character or if there is another reason. At first, I wasn’t a fan but I quickly grew to appreciate it. It certainly makes for a quick read. This is sort of a coming of age story and is touching in it’s own unique way. Another fun read.